|Title:||Partners in Crime|
Tommy and Tuppence Beresford are a young couple with an enthusiasm for reading detective novels and solving mysteries. They are actually rather brilliant at it, and one lucky day they are given the opportunity to take over Blunt’s International Detective Agency. Tommy pretends to be Theodore Blunt, the agency’s namesake, whilst the feisty Tuppence takes on the role of the extremely capable secretary Miss Robinson who assists Blunt in all his cases. Aided by a former butler named Albert who becomes their office boy the threesome begin to take on cases and perform their new roles with excellent results.
Aided by their obsession with literary detectives that include Sherlock Holmes, and even Agatha Christie’s own Hercule Poirot, the couple begin to emulate the methods of famed detectives, as well as keeping up a running commentary throughout the novel on the notion of detective stories and how oftentimes they are far too clichéd. Albert is instructed to make sure that each potential client visiting the agency for the first time should be told that Blunt is almost always on an important telephone call with Scotland Yard, and Tuppence begins to promise clients that their cases will be solved within 24 hours which amusingly enough bothers Tommy immensely.
This novel is more of a collection of short stories as each chapter focuses on individual cases that are brought to Tommy and Tuppence to solve. Some of the cases they are asked to solve include a missing pink pearl; a man who is found stabbed to death on a golf course; a missing fiancé; a ghostly policeman; a case of poisoned chocolates; a clergyman’s daughter who is convinced there is a poltergeist in her inherited house and a woman who claims to be in two locations at exactly the same time.
I loved the constant witty banter between Tommy and Tuppence. As a couple they seem a lot older than they really are, and in a lot of ways they are rather old-fashioned, and in other ways there is an element of youthful rebelliousness about them, especially Tuppence who often claims to need a bit more excitement in her life.
This is my first introduction to Agatha Christie’s young detective duo, and in many ways they are so much more lively and humorous than Hercule Poirot, her egg-shaped Belgian detective, and Miss Marple, the elderly detective who knows all the gossip and will not take no for an answer. I would however find it rather difficult to choose a favorite as they are all charming in their own unique ways.
Read this delightful collection of detective stories set in England if you love a good mystery and are a fan of Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, clever plot lines, intelligent commentary and the wonder that is the ‘short story’.
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